Mrs. Steffen's GATE Classes

May 2016

Twenty-six and one-half learning opportunities left!

It is hard to believe it is May already. At Sharpsburg Elementary in May, instruction is still in full bloom, just as beautiful flowers are. Now that testing is almost over, my GATE classes will be back in full swing. For me that means introducing some incredible activities and projects, before the year is over. Read below to find out about some of them.

May Dates to Remember:

May 3-6: PARCC testing, grades 3-5

May 11: PTA meeting

May 13: Library Movie Night, 8:30 at the ball field

May 17: Hat Day, 6th Grade Orientation at BMS (A-K) at 5 pm

May 18: 6th Grade Orientation at BMS (L-Z) at 5 pm

May 23: History Club movie premier, 7 pm

May 24: Food pantry, and Celebration of Learning from 5-6 pm

May 25: Spring Orchestra Concert at 7 pm

GATE Goings On

Grade 1:

Students in grade 1 will transfer their knowledge of their economic unit in Social Studies to create the beginnings of a GATE market. They will use their knowledge about goods, services, and production to develop an idea for a class market where they would be able to "purchase" goods. Student ownership in the decision-making process will guide this project.

Grade 2:

Grade 2 GATE had a lapse in time available to work on finishing their well-designed science investigations. At this point, they have learned about what elements must be included in an investigation to have it be designed well. They have also created in a shared document with their partner, an entire experiment that will demonstrate weathering and erosion. What is left is the gathering of materials, the execution of the experiment, and the drawing of conclusions.

Grade 3:

Grade 3 has been in the midst of two projects - a Freedom Fighter opinion piece and a Genius Hour project. Opinion pieces are done. Now we will prepare for a class debate where students will use their speaking skills to argue why their chosen freedom fighter was the most significant. They also are working on their Genius Hour projects. Please visit our GATE Facebook page for more information about these amazing projects!

Grade 4:

Students in Grade 4 just started thinking about ideas for their Genius Hour projects (see my GATE Facebook page). They are well on their way to coming up with fabulous projects that benefit others. Another exciting thing happening this month, that they do not yet know about (Shhh!) is the start of a new program called Breakout Edu. Student groups will interact with puzzles and problem solving tasks that require them to work together to solve them before time elapses. These Breakout sessions are aligned to Common Core and have been made to mirror the newest form of entertainment, Escape Rooms. Check them out in on the internet if you have time.

Grade 5:

Grade 5 students are just finishing up their Geo City Educreation projects. Their cities have been complete for quite a while. Our next step was to use the iPad app, Educreations to record a narration of their group explaining each element of their city and the attributes of each solid figure. Next up - students will also be experimenting with Breakout Edu. They will be my first group to try out this exciting new program at Sharpsburg!